Braj

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Braj (ब्रज) (also known as Brij or Brajbhoomi) is a region in Uttar Pradesh of India. Braj, though never a clearly defined political region in India but is very well demarcated culturally; and it is considered to be the land of Krishna, and the place's name is derived from the Sanskrit word Vraja or Vajra. The main city in the region is Mathura.

Contents

Location

The region lies well within the golden triangle of Delhi-Jaipur-Agra. Some of the regions included in Brij are Gokul, Govardhan, and Vrindavan. Contrary to the popular belief that Braj is Matura, Vrindavan and Goverdhan alone, this region comprises Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, Kaman Tehsil of Bharatpur district of Rajasthan and Hodal Tehsil of Faridabad district of Haryana, and it spans across 1300 villages and 5000 km² in area.

The residents or natives of Braj are called Brijwasi (or Brajwasi). Language(s) spoken: Braj bhasha or Brij bhasha, closely related to spoken Hindi with a soft accent.

Brij is famous for its sweets.

Region and the Cult of Krishna

Region is closely related to the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Krishna is said to have spent his childhood and adolescence in Brij, and therefore, it has an important status in the Hindu mythology.

Krishna performed his numerous pastimes, popularly known as his leelas in the 137 sacred forests, at the 1000 Kunds, on the numerous holy hills and on the banks of river Yamuna. In Srimad Bhagwat Geeta, he himself says to his foster father, Nandbaba that Braj is a culture of forests and hills and not of city. Through his Leelas, Krishna has emerged as the first environmentalist of the world. Nowhere in the history of mankind, one can find such an emphasis on the harmony of human life with the environment. By eating mud and showing the Universe in his mouth to mother Yashoda, he symbolically purified the earth element. By shunning the Kalia serpent, he emphasised on the purification of the water element. By sucking the Forest fire in Braj, he purified the fire element, and by killing Trinavrat and Vyomasur he symbolically purified the air and space elements respectively.

Thus, the Brajbhasa, the language of Braj was the language of choice of the Bhakti movement, or the neo-Vaishnavite religions, the central deity of which was Krishna. Therefore, most of the literature in this language pertains to Krishna, composed in medieval times.

If Bhagwat Geeta can be summarized in one word as "Nishkaam Karmayoga", Braj can be summarized in one word as "Simplification of Divine". The Divine in the form of Krishna got so simplified over here that he stole milk, curd and butter from the Brajwasis homes, grazed holy cows, and shared his plate of food with his friends, played with them, danced with them and did all those activities that a common man does, forgetting all about his divinity. It is because of this simplification of divine that the element of spiritualism is ingrained in the anatomy of the locales, that the pinnacle of bliss and satisfaction is found only here, that the hospitality of every Brajwasi can give the best hospitality professionals a run for their money.

Jat forts in Braj area

Jats in 17th century while fighting with Mughals constructed many forts and fortresses.[1]

South of Yamuna

North of Yamuna

See also

References

  1. Jat Samaj, Agra, p. 18

External links


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